A great day of birding the Huachuca Mountains and Las Cienegas, with 80 species.
The usual summertime SWAINSON’S HAWK were still around.
Several BUFF-BREASTED FLYCATCHERS are still present at the Reef Townsite Campground, along with ZONE-TAILED HAWK, BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, PLUMBEOUS VIREO, WESTERN SCRUB-JAY, BUSHTIT, BROWN CREEPER, ‘BROWN-THROATED’ HOUSE WREN, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, WESTERN BLUEBIRD, AMERICAN ROBIN, CHIPPING SPARROW, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK. Warblers were a feature, comprising GRACE’S, BLACK-THROATED GRAY and WILSON’S WARBLER, and PAINTED REDSTART.
A walk up to the Old Sawmill Spring was productive, as we eventually found our target bird, VIRGINIA’S WARBLER, as well as NASHVILLE WARBLER.
I found it impossible to capture the beauty of the flower meadow at the spring, but I tried nonetheless.
Casa de San Pedro B&B:
It was delightful to see a roosting BARN OWL and three GREAT HORNED OWLS in the trees by the B&B.
I was surprised to see a pair of MONTEZUMA QUAIL with four babies crossing the road, the first time I’ve seen this species here. I don’t really think of it as a species of pure grasslands, but I might have to revise this opinion, as they weren’t near any of the habitat I normally associate them with. I tend to think of Montezuma Quail as a species of grassy foothills with scattered oaks, and mid to higher elevation oak woodland.
Cottonwood Pond had GRAY HAWK, PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, WESTERN TANAGER, and LAZULI BUNTING, as well as CHIRICAHUA LEOPARD FROG.
Elsewhere around the grasslands, we encountered LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, BOTTERI’S, CASSIN’S, LARK, BLACK-THROATED, and GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS, LARK BUNTING, PYRRHULOXIA, BLUE GROSBEAK, ‘LILIAN’S’ EASTERN MEADOWLARK, and HOODED ORIOLE.
The mammal highlights were COYOTE and PRONGHORN, while the reptile of the day was a splendid ORNATE BOX TURTLE, always a joy to find.